“The Henckel Family Association Reunion 2016”
Staunton – Waynesboro, Virginia
Many non-members of our Association have asked me what happens at our Annual Reunions, I try to answer all their emails or calls, but it is tough to do in writing or in a short conversation. Below, I have tried to answer this question through pictures, which I believe tells the story far better. What do you think? Please scroll through all of them.
All the Henckel cousins at the Reunion posing for a group picture, behind Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace. PRICELESS!!!
Friday night’s reception – new and old members introduce themselves to all and everyone mingles with all their cousins.
Memorabilia galore is shown from as far back as the 1700’s. New ideas for our 300th Anniversary are created for next year’s Reunion in Pennsylvania!
Saturday morning everyone is up early, our 25 car convoy heads to Staunton’s Woodrow Wilson Museum which features his birthplace and Presidential Library!
Woodrow Wilson’s Birth House – Tour guide waits for 15 Henckels to start tour. Notice the Henckels lined up, from ages 5 to 39 and a lot in between! Quite a diverse group.
Staunton is a beautifully restored town, our walking tour took us by the site of the Rev. Paul Henkel and family’s home. They lived in Staunton from 1794 to 1797. Five Henkel doctors also lived and practiced medicine here from the 1860’s to the 1920’s. The new buildings on the left were the site of Dr. Abram Miller Henkel and his family’s home. The mansion which took up half the block was moved to a new location by Dr. Abram’s son S. Godfrey Henkel in 1929. It took 4 years to rebuild!!
Dr. Abram Miller Henkel house was moved to 1417 North Augusta Street from downtown. His son, Samuel Godfrey Henkel II, inherited the house from his mother and father. In 1929, the city of Staunton bought the house from him to expand its downtown. He used the money, and lots more, to move the house to its new location to keep it from being destroyed. In 1934, he moved into the house. Can you imagine how much it cost S. Godfrey to move the house! We found the house the day before the Reunion, thanks to local friends. We were unable to visit the house, so I promised attendees that I would get them a picture!
The Trinity Episcopal Church of Staunton was formed in 1764, one year before the town of Staunton was established. It was the only church in the town limits until the mid 1800’s. If you had come to the reunion you would know why!
The building standing in front of our members was the home of Dr. Frederick Lewis Henkel. He was a single person, who practiced medicine downstairs and lived upstairs!
Our next stop was for lunch at the Old Trinity Church built in 1889. The church currently is only used for special occasions. The Henckel Family Association was thankful that the church and its picnic pavilion were loaned to us by Bethany-Trinity Lutheran for our luncheon. They also allowed us to use their sanctuary for a presentation outlining the long standing relationship between the Henckels and Coiners who founded the church with the help of the Rev. Paul Henkel in 1794.
Everyone enjoyed the wonderful weather and delicious food served at Trinity Lutheran.
Two of our members Rev. Harold Kitzmann and his wife Betty, a Henckel cousin, helped make the use of the church’s facilities available to us. They were wonderful host and we all were appreciative of the help from them in putting our Reunion together.
What’s a picnic without kids? Our cousins came through, many brought their kids and grandkids to the reunion, many for the first time. They will always be welcome!!!
How could anyone not love this young lady………………..what a cutie!!!! Thanks to her parents for bringing her, she added so much to the Reunion.
Then there is this little guy…………adorable!! I was fortunate to get a hug from him.
And then there are these two. I wonder what they are talking about, only they know! I hope both will be members 60 years from now. I will need someone to replace me as a member long before then!
Our next stop was in Basic City to hear from two Henkel cousins about their great, great grandfather, David Socrates Henkel, and his part in creating the “Boom City of Virginia in the 1890’s”. The presentation was made at Basic Methodist Church, which was built in 1893, right in the middle “The Boom”. What happened to Basic City? You’ll have to ask me at the Pennsylvania Reunion in 2017! Don’t miss it, it’s going to be the best ever.
Member are meeting at the top of the largest hill in Waynesboro. They are gathering to hear about the last battle of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley. The battle lines were drawn right at the top of this hill. Needless to say, the Confederate Army was soundly defeated and the Civil War ended a couple of weeks later!
Our Saturday night dinner was at the Holiday Inn Staunton. After dinner we talk about our next Reunion. As always we had a historical speaker that answered many lingering questions about our ancestors. We had 99 people at he Reunion, wished you could have made it 100+!!
Eddie Hinkle was recognized by Richard Henkel, our new President, for his 10 years as President of the Association. Eddie was presented a beautifully inscribed plaque for his service by Association members.
Ken Hinkle was also recognized by Richard for his unbelievable record of 26 years of service to the Association. Ken was President, Vice President, and Historian of the Association for all these years. Richard also nominated him as Historian Emeritus of the Association, the nomination was seconded by Greg Adamson, and was unanimously approved by our membership.
Our Reunion ended with a presentation by Professor Daniel Bly, a retired history professor from Bridgewater College. His presentation was about why Anthony Jacob Henckel and his family came to America in 1717. It was quite thought provoking and left us wondering how they ever made it to America in 1717.
One last thought! These two young ladies and all the other young adults and their children, who came to the Staunton Reunion are the future of “The Henckel Family Association”. I thank all of you for coming and hope that you will come back for many years to come. With your participation and support, “The Henckel Family Association” which was formed in 1917 and restarted in 1965 will be here for your kids and grandkids for the coming 100 years!!!!
I hope this gives all Henckel descendants who are considering membership in our Association a better idea of what the members of our Association do at our Reunions. Our mission is to help preserve the history of our family with the help of all of our cousins throughout America and now, even, the world. Please become a member and help us accomplish our goal.